Karnataka

Rains and fear of monkey fever hit tourism in Shivamogga

Breathtaking: While 1,02,241 tourists visited Jog waterfalls in August last year, the number has come down to 61,231 this year.

Breathtaking: While 1,02,241 tourists visited Jog waterfalls in August last year, the number has come down to 61,231 this year.  

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Among the worst-hit spots is Jog Falls

With a decline in tourist footfall in the district this year owing to heavy rains and Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD), also known as monkey fever, the tourism sector is experiencing a downturn.

In 2018, as many as 24,55,150 tourists visited Shivamogga district. However, till the end of August this year, only 14,96,203 tourists had visited. The average monthly arrival of tourists in the district is down from 2,04,595 in 2018 to 1,87,025 this year.

One of the worst-hit tourist destinations is Jog Falls. According to information provided by the Tourism Department, while 1,02,241 tourists visited the waterfalls in August last year, the number came down to 61,231 this year. As many as 6,31,498 persons visited Jog Falls during the course of 2018, while the number was merely 2,44,639 till the end of August in 2019. While an average of 52,624 tourists visited Jog Falls every month last year, the number this year is down to 30,579.

Twelve persons died of KFD in the district between November 2018 and May 2019, while 341 positive cases were reported. Aralagodu, located just a few kilometres from Jog Falls, was identified as the epicentre of the KFD outbreak.

Subsequently, tourists were barred from entering Sharavati Wildlife Sanctuary from January 1, 2019, and the nature camp at Muppane was also closed down. Trekking activities in the sanctuary limits and in the Sharavati river backwater region were banned from January to May this year.

Bookings low

Admitting that many hotel bookings in the district by customers from Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra were cancelled owing to inclement weather in August, N. Gopinath, director of Shivamogga District Chamber of Commerce and Industries, told The Hindu that if the Department of Tourism chalks out plans to showcase the tourists spots of the district, it will be possible to make up ground during the Dasara holidays and the school excursion season of November and December.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:24:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/rains-and-fear-of-monkey-fever-hit-tourism-in-shivamogga/article29502462.ece

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